The future of ICT within schools is always uncertain due to the development of technology. There are many articles that suggest different directions for ICT in schools including a BBC article suggesting that ICT could be replaced by computing science due to the current ICT curriculum being a mess. However, I feel that the technology nowadays consists mainly of mobile technology. An article released in May 2012 states how the next big thing in schools is going to be the use of tablets. I agree with this and feel that the future of ICT within the classroom relies heavily upon using tablets to enhance learning in ICT and other curriculum areas.
Tablets are one medium that can be used in digital literacy. I have found it hard to decide what takes the form of digital literacy but the University of Illinois (in America) has defined digital literacy as the following:
- The ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information.
- The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers.
This therefore poses the question: What is digital technology and how can we use it in classrooms? Digital technology includes internet, mobile phones, televisions, cameras and tablets. Some of these forms of digital technology have been around for some time but there is always new ones being developed. As stated above, I feel that tablets should be used in classrooms because it is the newest technological development and will highly benefit children’s learning in ICT.
There are many ways we can use tablets in classrooms. The most common tablet is the iPad and has many great features that will enhance children’s learning in ICT and other curriculum subjects. An iPad can be used for any subject as there are a wide range of apps that can be downloaded. For ICT purpose, iPads allow children to work with more modern technology that develops their ICT skills through interactions with equipment.
Due to the evolving technology world, children need to learn how to use several apps for life after school. An article in July 2012 highlights the need for children to understand how to use apps as well as designing them for themselves. This would take me as an adult some time to understand and successfully design an app but with sufficient training I feel that I could teach children how to create apps. I also believe that the future of ICT in the classroom would require a teacher to have patience and dedication to finding appropriates amount of time on a topic such as this.
Using iPads will have a positive affect on children because they make creating projects more fun in my opinion. I had fun so therefore children surely will. There are many other benefits that iPads have within the primary classroom. Scientific Learning has identified ten benefits. These are:
- Children find them easier to use than computers
- Tablets are ready for the classroom because they are fully compatible with online teaching resources
- Children will be able to solve problems with technology than adults
- Easier to collaborate content creation
- Easier to record observations in all curriculum areas
- Tablets integrate with IT trends
- iPads make mobile computing easier
- Paperless innovation
- Help transport on trips
- Virtual experiences
One of the most useful apps was i-movie because it can be used alongside with any school subject to create a movie trailer or just a film project. There are endless possibilities of how i-movie can be introduced to a subject and there is ways to differentiate the learning as it is possible to use other apps alongside i-movie.
Teachers do not need to be experts with using apps because I have found that they are all either straight forward to use or can be figured out in a few minutes. Here are some examples of how you could use an iPad in school:
Another huge development over the past years and the coming years is the internet. The internet is continually being updated to become faster and more user friendly. Instead of using books to research topics, there is a stronger use of the internet for this purpose. But the internet poses many dangers to children and e-safety is an area that needs to be taught to children before they can use the internet in school or at home. E-safety has not always been an issue but since the internet has become more world-widely used and more aimed at social networking the rate of dangers has risen hugely. Kidsmart is an excellent website that is full of relevant information regarding all aspects of e-safety that children are able to look at but schools need to have an e-safety plan for the entire and teach children about e-safety.
Overall, the future of ICT needs to follow technological advances. The current one is tablets and should be used in schools as frequently as possible. However, there are some issues with this. The main issue will be cost, as tablets are expensive to buy and some apps will have to be paid for in order for them to be downloaded from the internet. But it is an investment worth paying for as the children will engage more in lessons which will ultimately enhance their learning experiences.